Took me a while to get this post up but it’s finally here. This is a modern kit of this 1980s strike fighter and is the only other option besides the old Hasegawa release.
I began as usual with dryfitting the majority of the parts, using masking tape to keep the parts in place.
The details are really good on this kit, with fine recessed lines and rivets.
Just look at all the that detail! As we shall see though, fitting is a different issue.
There was a problem with my kit though with a mismolded section on the port intake. I decided to fix this first before continuing.
The area was built up using UV putty and sanded to shape. The silver color is due to using a silver marker to check my work.
The ejection seat is decently molded but lacks any seatbelt details. Based on reference photos, I added the belts using 0.7mm masking tape. The seat was then sprayed gray with the details picked out with handpainting.
There were raised details on the consoles but I decided to use decals over them. The decals worked very well and I really liked how the cockpit turned out. Note the cockpit tub still includes the rear ‘office’.
The instrument panel couldn’t slot in properly into the coaming. After trimming them carefully to get them to fit together, I found that the HUD projector didn’t fit into the slot on the coaming either. The instruction sheet wasn’t clear on the angle that the HUD projector should sit and it took some more coaxing to slot in. After all these were done, I test fit the windscreen to make sure everything fit under it.
Just like the real aircraft, the rear canopy is replaced with an insert. To get the proper width, I added a piece of sprue as a spreader. I also added a small piece of plastic card as a tab for easier alignment.
With the mods done, the insert fitted better. The join left a wider gap that usual though so I filled it with Vallejo putty.
The bottom rear fuselage is molded as a separate plate that fits into the two halves of the main fuselage. There’s a very thin gap that appears where the plate doesn’t quite join to the landing gear bay. This waas filled with a strip of 0.18mm plastic card.
Part of the MLG doors remain closed when the landing gear is down and there are noticeable gaps that need to be addressed.
I extended the length of the doors using 0.25mm plastic card. Not shown is that eventually I’d have to widen the doors too by using 0.25mm plastic card.
The details are great but pretty much every part required dryfitting before committing cement.
I had to use rubber band to get the canopy to fit into place.
At this point, all the major components have been attached and note all the painting I’d done so far to check for gaps. Yep, it’s almost every join.
And then, something inside the cockpit started rattling. I removed the canopy masking tape to check and luckily it was just the seat that had come loose from its slot. The interior was just tight enough that it stayed in place though: it only rattles when I shake the kit up and down.
Part 1 – Construction | Part 2 – Painting & Finishing